How are we going to move all this Oil? Show some vision!

4 Feb 2014


Deane Foote | Expansion Solutions Magazine -

It was a cold snowy morning in early 2005 in Minot, ND; members of the Minot Chamber of Commerce and the City of Minot had gathered to hear the results of an intermodal development feasibility study that I was a part of while working for Carter-Burgess. Our advice to them had been to proceed with the development of the project, which would initially load and move regional grain products and other products such as oil - as the market would warrant - to the West Coast ports of Seattle and Vancouver. They were nervous, asking, "What else besides grain could be transloaded, and what will come back in?" But they followed our recommendations and proceeded with the development of the new Port of North Dakota near Minot.

The rest is, as they say, history.

The Port has aggressive growth plans too. The Port has 72 employees in 2012, far more than the 40 employees that officials figured the Port would have four years into its operation. This year, the Port will have, in the neighborhood, of 200 to 250 employees. As the proposed expansion gets built out, that number will grow. Future employment is unknown, but could be as high as 2,000 workers. Plans call for increasing the Port's capacity to handle more business and larger trains.

The flexibility of moving oil products via rail has become a Godsend - thanks to the community leaders in Minot, showing that vision for success, back on that cold snowy morning.

Let's fast forward to 2012 and our exciting involvement with a new intermodal project near Gallup, New Mexico.

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